Photos

Player Kings with Ian McKellen and Toheeb Jimoh – in rehearsals

Robert Icke merges the two parts of Shakespeare’s Henry IV for this new production

Robert Icke (director), Ian McKellen (Falstaff), David Semark (Vernon), Toheeb Jimoh (Hal) and Daniel Rabin (Poins), © Manuel Harlan
Robert Icke (director), Ian McKellen (Falstaff), David Semark (Vernon), Toheeb Jimoh (Hal) and Daniel Rabin (Poins), © Manuel Harlan

Take a look inside the rehearsal room for the Ian McKellen-led Player Kings, a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, parts one and two, penned by Robert Icke.

Shakespeare’s history play follows Hal, the young prince and King-in-waiting, as he goes through a series of capers with his older friend Falstaff, while the looming threat of war grows.

Icke’s new version sees McKellen take on the role of Falstaff, while joining him is Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso, Romeo and Juliet) as Hal and Richard Coyle (Ink, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore) as King Henry IV.

Completing the cast are Raphael Akuwudike (Prince John/Second Drawer), Sara Beharrell (Hotspur’s Servant/Snare/Davy), Samuel Edward-Cook (Hotspur/Pistol), Geoffrey Freshwater (Bardolph), James Garnon (Worcester/Silence), Alice Hayes (Messenger/Carrier), Henry Jenkinson (Harcourt), Nigel Lister (Northumberland/Francis), Annette McLaughlin (Warwick), Mark Monero (Peto), Hywel Morgan (Sir Walter Blunt), Joseph Mydell (Lord Chief Justice), Clare Perkins (Mistress Quickly), Daniel Rabin (Poins), David Semark (Vernon), David Shelley (Sheriff/Surrey), Robin Soans (Shallow), Tafline Steen (Tearsheet/Lady Percy) and Perry Williams (Page/Douglas/Thomas).

The production runs at the Noël Coward Theatre from 1 April to 22 June 2024, with previews at New Wimbledon Theatre from 1 March to 9 March 2024, and Manchester Opera House from 14 to 23 March 2024.

Player Kings has design by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Lee Curran, sound by Gareth Fry, casting by Julia Horan and fighting design by Kev McCurdy, while joining them on the creative team are associate costume designer Johanna Coe, hair and make-up designer Susanna Peretz, and associate directors Jack Bradfield and Lizzie Manwaring.

Player Kings. David Semark (Vernon), Alice Hayes (Messenger, Carrier), Henry Jenkinson (Harcourt) & Sara Beharrell (Hotspur's Servant, Snare, Davy). Credit Manuel Harlan. 184
David Semark (Vernon), Alice Hayes (Messenger, Carrier), Henry Jenkinson (Harcourt) & Sara Beharrell (Hotspur’s Servant, Snare, Davy), © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. Geoffrey Freshwater (Bardolph) & Mark Monero (Peto). Credit Manuel Harlan. 118
Geoffrey Freshwater (Bardolph) and Mark Monero (Peto). © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. Hywel Morgan (Sir Walter Blunt), Annette McLaughlin (Warwick, Westmorland) & Joseph Mydell (Lord Chief Justice). Credit Manuel Harlan.
Hywel Morgan (Sir Walter Blunt), Annette McLaughlin (Warwick, Westmorland) and Joseph Mydell (Lord Chief Justice). © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. Ian McKellen (Falstaff). Credit Manuel Harlan. 186
Ian McKellen (Falstaff). © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. James Garnon (Worcester, Silence). Credit Manuel Harlan. 073
James Garnon (Worcester, Silence). © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. Joseph Mydell, David Semark, Sara Beharrell, Alice Hayes, Henry Jenkinson, Tafline Steen & Mark Monero . Credit Manuel Harlan.
Joseph Mydell, David Semark, Sara Beharrell, Alice Hayes, Henry Jenkinson, Tafline Steen and Mark Monero © Manuel Harlan.
Player Kings. Nigel Lister (Northumberland, Francis) & Robert Icke (Director). Credit Manuel Harlan. 056
Nigel Lister (Northumberland, Francis) and Robert Icke (Director), © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. Richard Coyle (King Henry IV). Credit Manuel Harlan. 020
Richard Coyle (King Henry IV). © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. Richard Coyle (King Henry IV). Credit Manuel Harlan. 032
Richard Coyle (King Henry IV). © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. Samuel Edward Cook (Hotspur, Pistol). Credit Manuel Harlan. 062
Samuel Edward Cook (Hotspur, Pistol), © Manuel Harlan
Player Kings. Toheeb Jimoh (Hal) & Ian McKellen (Falstaff). Credit Manuel Harlan. 102
Toheeb Jimoh (Hal) and Ian McKellen (Falstaff) © Manuel Harlan.
Player Kings. Toheeb Jimoh (Hal) & Robert Icke (Director). Credit Manuel Harlan. 165
Toheeb Jimoh (Hal) and Robert Icke (director). © Manuel Harlan

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